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"Developing tomorrow's products today"



RP MASTER MODELS SLA & SLS laser building technology Arrk Silhouette has been assisting customers for over 10 years on the correct RP technology best suited to their applications. With our experience in accelerating product development, Arrk Silhouette has adopted the two most widely used RP Master technologies available, SLA (Stereolithography) and SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), both established forms of Rapid Prototyping.

SLA Arrk Silhouette’s in-house SLA 7000 machine is state-of-the-art in Rapid Prototyping, offering superior speed and accuracy over existing SLA machines world wide. Its ability to produce fine layer build thickness is ideal for building highly detailed models with very good surface finish, and improved accuracy. The SLA master model is made by a computer controlled laser beam that solidifies a liquid epoxy, one cross sectional layer at a time. SLA 7000's ability to reproduce small detail makes it the ideal choice for presentation or photographic purposes, or as a starting point for RAPID PLASTIC and BRIDGE TOOL applications.

Right: Ongoing SLA material research has delivered TOUGH SLA. The key advantage of this PP (Polypropylene) simulant is that it offers a combination of prototype durability with smooth surface finish, ideal for one off functional models.

Above: The new SLA 7000 has the fastest laser build speed and the largest single build volume of any SLA machine in Australia (508 x 508 x 600mm). Larger parts are readily built by joining sections accurately together.

SLA Qualities

Above: The generation of RP master models relies on the supply of STL data.

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2 - 5 days turnaround Epoxy build material Superior surface finish Excellent small detail reproduction Very good dimensional accuracy Thin walled parts Ideal starting point for RAPID PLASTIC and BRIDGE TOOL

SLS The SLS process utilises a computer controlled laser beam that sinters nylon powder together, one cross sectional layer at a time. One of the main benefits of the SLS technology is in its ability to produce RP masters in durable materials, including nylon, glass filled nylon and rubbers. SLS models are produced with a slightly granulated surface finish best suited for design validation and form and fitment checks, particularly when surface finish is not as critical.

SLS Qualities ! ! ! !

1 week turnaround Glass filled or unfilled nylon build material Extremely tough Live hinge applications

Above: SLS produces durable parts used for functional prototype applications.

RAPID PLASTIC Prototype plastic parts in PU Arrk Silhouette utilises the latest computer controlled vacuum casting system in conjunction with advanced silicone tooling to produce prototype plastic parts in short time frames. The silicone tooling allows a production run of 1 to 100 units, in a range of production simulant materials from glass filled nylon through to soft rubbers. Silicone tooling will faithfully replicate all the complexities and the surface detail of the RP master to allow for the accurate production of multiple, functional prototypes.

Above: The largest computer controlled vacuum casting machine in Australia is the key to Arrk Silhouette's superior silicone tooling and prototype production.

RAPID PLASTIC Qualities ! ! ! ! ! Above: Advanced silicone tooling transforms one off RP Master Models into multiple prototype plastic parts that simulate production materials.

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1 - 100 plastic parts 3-5 days lead time Maximum tool size 1000 x 600 x 400mm Computer controlled Vacuum Casting Large range of PU, filled and unfilled materials, simulating ABS, Acrylic, Nylon, PP, PC... Insert moulding PU rubber moulding Shore A&D PMS colour matching Range of surface textures: matte, satin, gloss, EDM... PU rubber over-moulding Clear/tinted parts for lens or windows

Case Study A leading multinational automotive body electronics company used RAPID PLASTIC to deliver 25 sets of prototype plastic parts for form, fit and function tests of a new alarm housing concept. Part size: Material: Quantity: SLA lead time: RAPID PLASTIC lead time: PU lead time:

SLA master model grown and cleaned

150 x 150 x 35mm ABS simulant PU 25 units 3 days 3 days 4 units per day

Master model is set-up in a frame and silicone rubber is poured

SLA cost: $600 Silicone tool cost: $600 PU part price: $60 per part Above: Using RAPID PLASTIC, the development team was able to confirm the optimal part profile to maximise alarm sound wave output and electronic packaging orientation, prior to committing to production tooling.

Upon curing, the silicone is split in half forming the tool

Polyurethane is cast into the tool under vacuum

PU part is removed once cured 1-30 units per tool

BRIDGE TOOL Low to Medium plastic injection moulding The dynamic nature of Rapid Prototyping has seen the evolution of a new technology called Rapid Prototype Tooling. RP tooling is the latest and most powerful method of reducing the time to market for new products. It has the ability to provide product development teams with injection moulded prototype parts in under three weeks. Since 1997, Arrk Silhouette has been concentrating its R&D efforts into developing a process which will provide tooling for injection moulded prototypes, as well as plastic parts for pilot or preproduction runs. BRIDGE TOOL is an amalgamation of SLA (stereolithography) and alloy casting under vacuum, resulting in inserts for injection moulding, in any thermoplastic material.

Above: Arrk Silhouette’s in-house injection moulding capabilities ensure excellent project control and rapid response to prototype needs.


Above: BRIDGE TOOL provides the necessary link between prototype and production requirements. Arrk Silhouette is well equipped with an advanced Rapid Tooling facility with injection moulding and metal casting abilities.

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100 - 10,000+ injection moulded parts 2-3 weeks lead time Part size 300 x 210 x 100mm Ongoing R&D will see this increase! All the thermoplastic materials: ABS, PC, PP, Nylon, TPR... Filled materials: Glass bead, Silca powder, Flame retardant... Full range of colours Vast selection of surface textures BRIDGE TOOL used as low volume "production tooling"

Case Study Agsystems Pty Ltd developed a satellite navigation system to control tractors for the purpose of broad acre and crop farming. The company used BRIDGE TOOL to deliver high volume prototype parts for field trials, followed by marketing, exhibition launch and limited pre-production run of 100 units in a specialised ASA UV stabilised material. BRIDGE TOOL offered Agsystems the flexibility to evaluate their product without committing prematurely to an expensive and time-consuming production steel tool. Following a successful market entry, augmented by export orders, BRIDGE TOOL also satisfied the larger than expected volumes urgently required without any additional tooling premiums. Part size: Material: Quantity:

185 x 140 x 25mm ASA UV stabiliser 100+ units

SLA RP Master Model + shrinkage

Advanced Silicone Tooling

SLA lead time: BRIDGE TOOL lead time: BRIDGE TOOL cost: Unit price:

Bridge Tool insert suitable for injection moulding

1 week 2 weeks $7,500 $6.25

Above: By taking advantage of the aggressive lead times and inherent flexibility offered by BRIDGE TOOL, Agsystems satisfied all their prototype and low volume production requirements.

Injection moulding under production conditions

100 -10,000+ prototype or low volume parts

RP METAL Prototype investment & die cast metal parts The prototyping of forged, investment and die cast metal parts has traditionally been a difficult, time consuming and expensive process. With the ever-increasing demands for shrinking product development time frames, the use of fast and efficient prototyping techniques is essential. Arrk Silhouette offers a range of RP METAL techniques that help meet this demand through the combination of RP Master Sacrificial Patterns (ThermoJet & QuickCast), advanced silicone tooling (Rapid Wax) and traditional Investment Casting.

Above: Investment Casting offers high quality, good finish and accuracy with a wide range of alloy selection.

ThermoJet ThermoJet produces RP Master Sacrificial Patterns made from wax that are well suited to be used as sacrificial patterns for Investment Casting. Starting from a 3D CAD solid model, it works like an Inkjet printer and "spits out" fine particles of wax, one crosssectional layer at a time, to build up a physical model. ThermoJet is best suited for low volume RP METAL parts (1-5 off).

Left: ThermoJet's combination of low cost wax material and speed make it ideal for building investment cast prototypes.

QuickCast (SLA) QuickCast is a dedicated SLA build style that creates a "honey combed" model that is designed specifically for use as a sacrificial pattern for Investment Casting. QuickCast enables users to produce sacrificial patterns of larger size, dimensional accuracy and smoother surface finish. QuickCast is best suited for low volume RP METAL parts (1-5 off).

Left: Arrk Silhouette's SLA 7000 is ideally suited to building patterns with unlimited complexity.

Rapid Wax RAPID WAX is an Arrk Silhouette R&D development that utilises advanced silicone tooling and vacuum casting techniques to economically produce sacrificial wax patterns ready for Investment Casting. RAPID WAX is best suited for moderate volumes of RP METAL parts (5-50 off).

Left: RAPID WAX technology has proven to be successful in instances when pilot or low volume pre-production runs are required.

Investment Casting Investment Casting has been used as a specialist metal production technique for centuries. Unfortunately, the long lead time and high cost normally associated with Investment Casting has made it prohibitive as a widely used prototype technique. However, the advent of RP METAL to quickly and cost effectively produce sacrificial patterns changes this equation. Now product development teams searching for a solution to produce prototype metal parts from 1-100+ units have an answer. Basic Investment Casting process: (1) Sacrificial pattern is dipped in a high grade of ceramic slurry building up a thick ceramic shell. (2) The ceramic shell is then fired at over 1000 degrees for several hours to solidify the shell and burn out the sacrificial pattern. (3) Molten metal is poured into the hollow ceramic shell and allowed to solidify. (4) The ceramic shell is smashed and removed, leaving behind a metal part. A wide range of metals can be Investment Cast, including Aluminium, Zinc, Stainless Steel, Brass, Copper, Steel, Iron and Magnesium.


COMPANY PROFILE For 10 years the leading name in Australian RP has been "Silhouette Designs". From this emerges a new partnership that delivers a level of "in-house" RP capability unmatched in Australasia.

One off RP Master Models generated directly from STL files using “laser” building technology.


Arrk Silhouette is the newest addition to the worldwide resources of the ARRK Corporation. It is the single largest RP service provider in the world with over 50 years experience, located throughout USA, Europe and Asia. As Silhouette Designs, we have consistently delivered the latest RP technologies and R&D breakthroughs that have kept us at the forefront of Australian RP. We have consistently provided customers with technical advice and targeted RP programs that accelerate new product development. Today, as Arrk Silhouette, we continue this commitment with the added strength, resources and support of a truly global organisation. Arrk Silhouette signifies a new dawn in the level of customer service, RP technologies and single source simplicities available to Australasian industries.

RAPID PLASTIC transforms one off master models into multiple, functional prototypes.


BRIDGE TOOL is RP Tooling for injection moulding under production conditions.


Advantages of RP ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Low volume production Design validation Market research Colour trials Form and fitment trials Field trials Destruction tests Standard's approval Communication aids Tooling evaluation and quotation Production and assembly line set ups Advertising campaigns Photo shoots Exhibition launches Client approval Packaging trials Presentations

Industries using RP ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Automotive Whitegoods Browngoods Telecommunications Electronics Medical Military Scientific Aeronautical Marine Toys Packaging Agriculture

Great Britain United States





Thailand Right: Arrk Corporation is the largest RP service provider in the world, with facilities located worldwide.

Malaysia Australia

Combining RP sacrificial patterns with traditional Investment Casting.

Arrk Silhouette (Australia) Pty Ltd 5 Lynch Street Hawthorn Victoria 3122 Melbourne Australia ABN: 32 060 673 396

Tel: +61 (0)3 9819 4422 Fax: +61 (0)3 9819 4408 Email: Internet:



©March 2001 Arrk Silhouette (Australia) Pty Ltd

Arrk Silhouette 6 page brochure (march 2001)